ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) commissioner general Kingsley Chanda has justified Revenue House’s decision to sponsor Super Division side Nkana.

Yesterday, Chanda revealed at a briefing that the revenue collector has put $45,000 [K945, 000] in their new partnership with the Kitwe based team.

A number of netizens have expressed mixed feelings on the move by the authority to use taxpayers’ money to fund the football club at the expense of other things.

Chanda however said the money is not tax driven.

“…It is not tax driven please get this very clearly, so I thought that for those that are saying we are using public funds to support Nkana, they need to get this in the correct prospective,” Chanda said.

Chanda clarified that the decision to be among the sponsors of the club was based on business and corporate social responsibility objectives of the authority.

“Our first objective is for us to advertise our taxonline system which was developed by Zambians, our dream is to have the system adopted by other tax administrations in Africa and around the world. The first motivation is the business motivation, just the way we spend millions on radio stations, TV stations advertising ZRA products, we thought this was a very good opportunity for us to advertise our taxonline system not only to Zambians but also to the international community,” Chanda said.
He said Nkana is the right brand to carry the message.

“Now, the fact is that there is no other team in the country that is successful as Nkana so we had to go for the best we are not under any obligation to sponsor any other team just because we sponsored Nkana this is a business decision. Should there be compelling reasons for us to support another club and the budget allows, I will go back to the board and request for more funds,” Chanda said.

Chanda did not disclose the length of the partnership with the club.

“…for a foreseeable future we want to stick with Nkana and we want Nkana to go back to where it was, it was a national team on its own.

We want to go on for as much as we can, as I said for us this is a corporate social responsibility we know the majority of football fans in the country support Nkana.

“So by us as ZRA associating ourselves with Nkana we are associating with thousands Zambians who are association with Nkana for us this is a way of paying back. Our sponsorship is not linked to any period but I can guarantee you ZRA will continue…we may not as a public institution give millions of Kwacha but in a little way we feel that we can help the club,” he said.

Chanda said he is aware of the mixed public reactions that this sponsorship has been greeted with.

“I have heard a lot of these sentiments about other clubs saying we are spending public money on Nkana, this is different from the taxes we collect. ZRA has two [other] sources of funds for corporate social responsibility, our first source of funds is our own budget for such activities and if you have noticed we are very active in the area of charity work we have supported hospitals, we have supported orphanages and we continue to do that,” said Chanda.

He said apart from the budget, ZRA staff also contribute money for CSR operations.